GM recalling 4.3M vehicles for airbag software glitch

Buicks, Cadillacs, Chevys and GMCs of various sizes all affected

Published: September 9, 2016, 5:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 3:24 PM

Large Heavy Duty Pickup – Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD

General Motors is recalling some 4.3 million vehicles of various sizes, from sub-compact hatchbacks to full-sized stretched sport utilities, to repair a computer glitch that could knockout some occupant-protection safety systems.

The problem lies with a faulty sensing and diagnostic module (SDM), which controls airbag and seatbelt pretensioner deployments. It’s been determined that a software defect could prevent the deployments of the devices when a frontal crash is preceded by specific driving dynamic occurrences.

Although GM says the occurrences are rare, it would put the front seat occupants at risk, since they wouldn’t have the full protection of the vehicles’ safety systems. The company became aware of a potential problem with a Chevrolet Silverado full-sized pickup was involved in a front collision and its front airbags did not deploy, and the company says it is aware of a death and several injuries that could be linked to the issue.

In addition to Silverados (from model years 2014 through 2017, depending on models and configurations), other vehicles affected by the recall are Buick Lacrosse sedans and Encore compact crossovers (2014-16), Chevrolet Spark EV city cars (2014-16), SS performance sedans (2014-16), Corvettes (2014-17), Trax compact crossovers (2014-17), Caprice PPV full size police cars (2014-17) and Tahoe and Suburban full sized sport-utilities (2015-17), GMC Sierra full-sized pickups (2014-17) and Yukon and Yukon XL full-sized SUVs (2015-17), and Cadillac Escalade luxury SUVs of various sizes and bodystyles from 2015-17 model years.

Of the vehicles recalled, about 362,000 are in Canada, and another 3.64 million are in the US.

GM will begin notifying customers immediately, asking them to take their vehicles to a GM dealership where service personnel will upgrade the SDM software.